Links to Ancient Texts and Resources on Christian History

Below are links to early religious texts and manuscripts which can be read online.

(If links do not open hold “ctrl” while clicking the link to connect to the page.)

Lost, Forgotten Books and Ancient Sacred Texts

This is a nice online collection of many of the lost gospels and dead sea scrolls.

The Nag Hammadi Library Codex

Good collection of the Gnostic Texts found in the Nag Hammadi Library.

Early Christian Writings

Early Christian Writings is the most complete collection of documents from the first two centuries with translations and commentary. Includes the New Testament, Apocrypha, Gnostics, and Church Fathers.

The Jefferson Bible

Thomas Jefferson’s attempt at separating religious dogma and supernatural events from ethical teaching.

Early Jewish Writings

The most complete collection of Jewish documents from antiquity with translations, introductions, and links.

The Testament of Solomon

One of the oldest magical texts attributed to King Solomon in the summoning of demons and invoking angels and using magical techniques as counter measures.

Internet Sacred Text Archive

A collection of the sacred texts of many religions

Princeton Theological Commons

The Theological Commons is a digital library of 75,615 books and journals on theology and religion, including 25,690 volumes from the Princeton Theological Seminary Library.

The Internet Classics Archive

A collection of ancient writings including Greco-Roman and Eastern Philosophical writers in antiquity.

The Paul Page

An expanding website dedicated to exploring recent trends in Pauline studies.

New English Translation of the Septuagint

Online edition of the Oxford University Press publication of The Septuagint (the ancient Greek translation of Jewish sacred writings) thought by scholars to be the Bible of the early Christian communities: the scripture they cited and the textual foundation of the early Christian movement.

Lost Years of Jesus in Tibet

Nicolas Notovich translation of document discovered in Tibet and claimed to be the story of Saint Issa, believed to be Jesus while living in the Himalaya region during the lost years.

Encyclopedia Mythica

This is a plentiful collection of articles on mythology and folklore.

The Jewish Roman World of Jesus

Religious studies website of Dr. James Tabor which has many resources for those interested in christian origins. Also TaborBlog is an interesting resource on christian origins and bible archaeology.

Perspective on the World of Jesus

Text records of those who did not endorse Jesus, that offer modern interpreters of the New Testament a historical gateway into the world with which Jesus, his supporters & early Christian writers interacted. Includes compilations of various texts organized into categories to exhibit the social, political and cultural climates during the time of Jesus and early Christian organizers.

Bible and Interpretation Website

Dedicated to delivering the latest news, features, editorials, commentary, archaeological interpretation and excavations relevant to the study of the Bible for the public and biblical scholars.

Biblical Archaeology Society

Articles, Ebooks and information from biblical archaeology sights and information on findings from the latest digs.

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Links to Ancient Texts and Resources on Christian History

  1. Touchdown!

    Some of these I knew about, others are completely new to me (Princeton Theological Commons? Breathe, Don, breathe! LOL).

    I’m curious to know your view regarding various gnostic texts, revised texts (Jefferson) and those books not a part of the canon. Many of these are rejected by conventional religious doctrine. Do you think any of their arguments have merit?

    • I am fond of the gnostic texts and count them among my favorite texts to read. There seems to always be the moment when I read something that makes me think about the words. For example, Jesus said, “there is no such thing as sin except for what you call adultery”. (What?? But the christian faith is built on the idea of original sin, what could that possibly mean? It made me rethink what sin actually is)

      I think Jefferson wanted to extract the simple spiritual message of Jesus from what he believed was scribal interference and elaborate story telling. I personally agree with that idea.

      Overall, I consider most religious texts to be the writings from the perspectives of individuals attempting to portray their understanding of God. The gnostic books were rejected from the canon because they did not fit the structure of christianity that was being formed. But in my opinion the gnostic books present a more vibrant and realistic portrait of Jesus. Reading the gnostic texts changed the way I understood the bible and for me complete the narrative of Jesus’ life. For me the bible is better understood by reading the other texts, not just the gnostics but others as well.

  2. Might I suggest you take a look at the Quran? You seem to know so much about these ancient Judeo Christian texts, it might be interesting to get a different perspective on things. Another sacred ancient text I’d recommend would be the Bhagavad Gita. This post is really informative, I’ll be looking into some of these texts pretty soon. Thanks for that.

    Cheers,
    Lux

    • There is a link above, Internet Sacred Text Archive, that links to writings from both the Quran and the Bhagavad Gita. I like this link in particular for reading various religious texts outside of Christianity. As I research and come across links to online texts and other religious resources I try to list them here on this page. It is easier for me to have one place where I can quickly reference a text and much better than keeping way too many shortcuts on my desktop.

      I have read several posts on your blog today and will be following along. It is always enjoyable to come across the writings of fellow seekers. Thanks for commenting so I could find your blog.

      • Great, I couldn’t find it in the front page. It’s sad how little the Quran is considered in the West in our post-9/11 days. I’m glad you like my blog. Feel free to comment or like whatever you want 🙂

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